Clinton, N.C. (CBS13) – Former NFL wide receiver Rae Carruth is a free man.

The 44-year-old was released from prison in North Carolina Monday morning after serving more than 18 years for conspiring to murder the mother of his unborn child.

Carruth did not speak to reporters as he left prison early Monday morning.

A former Valley High School standout who went on to be a first-round pick for the Carolina Panthers, Carruth was found guilty of plotting to kill Cherica Adams in a November 1999 shooting. Adams was pregnant when she was shot; she died a month later.

The unborn baby, Chancellor Lee Adams, survived the shooting but suffered permanent brain damage.

Chancellor Lee is now 18 years old and has cerebral palsy. According to multiple reports, Carruth has said he wants to be in his son’s life.

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